Well. Here we are on Day 16 of being back from NYC. It’s crazy how quickly things change. Three days after we got back, the state shut down all restaurants for dine in and turned them into delivery/take out only establishments. A few days after that, the county issued a “stay at home” order and all non-essential businesses shut down. Movie theaters, gyms, most retail shops, etc are now closed. Thank goodness the liquor store is considered essential! Today at 5:00 pm, the whole state goes into “stay at home” mode until the end of April. I am guessing that working from home for the past nine years has prepped me somewhat for what the next few months hold. Homebodies for the win!
It appears that David and I made it back from New York City without any germs. We have been monitoring ourselves every day and so far no fever/cough/shortness of breath. Part of me is paranoid that we are asymptomatic even though we have made it past the 14-day self-quarantine window. Silly, I know. So far there are not any reported cases in our county … but I suspect that will change. It just seems to be EVERYWHERE.
What sucks is the timing. Spring has arrived (finally!) and things are beautiful outside. Too bad everyone feels the same way and the walking paths and hiking trails have been jammed with people since there is nothing else to do. They have closed some of the local state parks and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has also totally shut down due to the influx of visitors. I am fully expecting that the Blue Ridge Parkway will follow suit in the next few weeks. So, I guess walking around the back yard is going to have to do.
Here are some back yard blooms …
Bowser has certainly been enjoying the fact that we are around the house all the time. He also appears to be unconcerned with the miseries of the world. Oh, to be a dog …
Saturday night, we tired out the new way to socially gather in these times of social distancing. It was super nice to actually see some friends … even if it was via a computer screen. I am guessing this will become a regular thing for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile … I received a copy of Dave Stewart‘s book, Monster Man. Thanks a bunch for sending it my way, Dave! [Kissy!]
And, finally … before we went to New York City, I picked up a copy of Horrified™: Universal Monsters™. How could I resist a game where you battle Universal’s classic movie monsters? It looks like it’s gonna be a fun game to play. Now for this pandemic to end so we can invite people over for a game night!
Yeah. Things have been going. Last week was stressful as one one my bosses ended up in the hospital and I had to cover all her work (on top of mine) for three days. Ugh. Thankfully, things are looking up and she was back at work today.
I got started on and finished the Stranger Things: The Upside Down LEGO set that I got for our anniversary in December. It was fun to make … but, I really do hope Will Byers survives. Plus … how cute is that Demogorgon minifig? Very!
I took my sister to Biltmore. I love this picture I took (near the grand staircase) with lots of overlapping archways.
We went bowling with our friend, Chris, at Sky Lanes. My highest score was 86 which confirms that I suck as bowling. Here’s David getting ready to gutter-ball it.
On the vinyl collecting front, I have FINALLY managed to acquire a first pressing of X‘s debut album, Los Angles. Score!
Meanwhile, meanwhile …
I watched two more of the Best Picture nominees.
– 1917 (Technically impressive but DOA as far as tension and emotional engagement.)
– Joker (It’s Taxi Driver-Lite. Just watch Taxi Driver. It’s sooooooooo much better!)
So, yeah. Totally bumfuzzled as to how Joker scored the most Oscar nominations this year. Parasite is still the movie to beat. Seriously. Go see Parasite!
After owning this bad boy (exclusive edition, of course) for over a year, I was finally able to get a group together to play it! If you are familiar with John Carpenter’s The Thing, then you know the drill. Outpost 31 has been infected by the Thing and you have to investigate three sectors, find items, battle the Thing, figure out which one of your fellow players is an imitation, and escape the outpost with only humans in your group. Along the way some of your fellow players (or maybe even you) might be infected and become an imitation (whose task it is to sabotage the game). You have to have at least four people to play but can have up to eight.
There was a bit of a learning curve and we totally messed up the first round. The second try at game play went much smoother. Playing with four people was fine, but I suspect this would be much more fun with 6-8 people. Who wants to come join the fun?
Oh, yes! After not being able to find it locally-ish (ie Charlotte and Toronto) in any Lego store, I finally pulled the trigger and ordered myself the James Bond™ Aston Martin DB5 Lego Creator Expert set. This thing looks so cool and has all the Bond gadgets you could want … a working ejector seat, revolving number plates, rear-window bulletproof screen, front wing machine guns, and wheel-mounted tyre scythes.
The tracking says it should be here tomorrow. Squee!
Am I a big kid? Most definitely!
Uninspired. That would be the best word to describe how things are going right now. I feel very uninspired in just about every aspect of my life.
Uninspired in my job.
Uninspired creatively (as I currently have no creative outlet right now).
Uninspired in my personal life.
I even feel uninspired to do anything about being uninspired.
Is this what middle age is like? Is it a long stretch of tediousness until death? If I were wealthy, I suppose I could buy myself out of this current state of ennui.
I bought a new toy from Fort Troff. I love it when “toys” are on sale.
“How are they?” … you might ask? Painful. But pleasantly so.
Friday, I went over the Asheville and grabbed the new Siouxsie and the Banshees vinyl re-issues. They sound pretty good and mostly reproduce the art and labels from the original Polydor releases.
Saturday, A&A and the boyfriend and I went over to Franklin to kick around. We had a nice lunch and strolled Main Street. Sadly, we were a bit rushed as one of the A’s had to be back for a retirement party.
Sunday, the boyfriend and I made an impromptu trip to Gatlinburg wherein lots of moonshine was drunk and purchased. Those tastings will get you every time.
We still like Doc Collier the best (that’s all the tall bottles in the back)!
Maybe that is the answer to ennui? Become an alcoholic and lay drunk all the time.
Anyhoo … the work week is underway. Such excitement.
Here are some quickie highlights from Thanksgiving weekend (with a photo or two).
– I made the yearly batch of egg nog. It’s going to be oh-so-fucking tasty!
– After a promise to myself to not overeat on Thursday … I FAILED. Major fatness ensued.
– Black Friday Deals, B&N Criterion Sale, and general movie purchases added up pretty quickly. Must. Stop. Buying. Movies!
– As you might have guessed from the above photo, I was bad and upgraded to a 4K UHD Blu-ray Player (for half off). Damn you, Best Buy Black Friday Sale!
– I hiked with Kat and her Walking Buddy up to Chestnut Bald. The view never gets old.
– Most importantly, my copy of the Mondo Exclusive Edition of Infection at Outpost 31 arrived. Now, I just need to find 2-6 people to come over and play it.
– The Christmas Tree is up. Now, please pass the egg nog.
Well … another birthday done. Welcome to 46!
This year was somewhat cool as my birthday fell on Friday … the 13th! The day itself was business as usual. Worked. Mowed the Yard. Worked. Such fun. The Boyfriend and I went out to dinner at Boojum Brewing Company (Mmmmmm, BEER!) and then came home and relaxed.
The Boyfriend went a little nuts and spent way to much on me. I got a couple of Blu-rays and an Apple Watch (Series 2). Whoo hoo.
Saturday, we went down to Charlotte to partake in a night at Scarowinds. SpOooOoooOOoOky! It was a pretty fun time, but there were a lot of people in the park. It took quite some time to get through lines to the mazes. We ended up going through five of the six they have going … Zombie High, Silver Scream Studios, Slaughterhouse, Depths of Darkness, Dark Harvest. We missed out on Urgent Scare which was a bit of a bummer since we really disliked (the boring) Dark Harvest. We only got on three rides and no coasters. Five hours really wasn’t enough time to do everything we wanted to do. It then took us 1+ hour to escape the parking lot. That was not too much fun.
Here’s the fun sign for Red Ribbon Meats … home of Slaughterhouse!
Sunday, we kicked around at IKEA and Concord Mills before I headed back to the mountains.
There was lots of cool stuff at IKEA. Too bad I am not rich and have a big house for all the stuff I wanted to buy. We got there early so I had a late breakfast and The Boyfriend had an early lunch (Swedish Meatballs!).
Here’s my $2 (plus tax) IKEA breakfast. Pretty yummy!
We ended up at the Lego Store and I got see the display of the Millennium Falcon Ultimate Collector’s Edition (75192). Pictures really don’t do this thing justice. I have been half-heartedly toying with the idea of dropping $800 on this set. After seeing it in person I now know that I DESPERATELY NEED this in my life. Too bad the employee I talked to said it would be January or February at the earliest before they would have it back in stock. Bummer.
Remember when I mentioned winning an eBay auction while stuck in traffic on the way to Charleston, SC? Well, here it is … Duran Duran’s Into the Area Board Game (released in 1985 by Milton Bradley). As you can tell by the graphics, this was released to coincide with the Arena live album and the Arena (An Absurd Notion) concert video. One of the super cool things about the game is that it’s graphics were designed by Assorted iMaGes (who had been doing all the designs for Duran Duran releases at that point).
I didn’t even realize there was a Duran Duran board game until I ran across a mention of it about a year ago. Since then I have been trying to find a reasonably priced copy. And, thanks to eBay, I scored a copy for just a little over $40 shipped. YES! Now I just need to find some friends to play it with.
I also won an auction for a VHS of the Duran Duran video album. It contains the first 11 Duran Duran videos and was released in 1983 on Beta video, CED videodisc, LaserDisc, VHD disc, and VHS. I rented this A LOT from one of the local video stores (of which I can’t remember the name) back in the day. It’s a bit of a bummer that this hasn’t made its way on to DVD. The Greatest DVD release from 2004 has all these videos but it’s not quite the same as all the videos are viewed one at a time with breaks between them. The Duran Duran release has the 11 videos cleverly edited together for a continuous viewing experience.
And with that, my week of Duran Duran concludes!
How cool are these Chinese Zodiac Mini Figures from Joe Ledbetter? Super Cool!!!
I have long resisted the lure of video games. Sure I had them growing up (the Atari 2600 and the first Nintendo Entertainment System) but past that I have only had a passing interest in them. Until yesterday …
Jeff and Kelly’s son, Nicholas, was playing “Lego Star Wars: The Video Game” when I was helping them out yesterday. OMG … talk about one of the coolest things I have ever seen! You get to control various Lego style Star Wars characters and basically play your way through all the movies. How awesome is that?!?!?!
I also got to see a wee bit of the “Lego Indiana Jones: The Video Game.” You guessed it! On this one you get to battle your way through the first three Indiana Jones movies. Rockin’!
Nicholas also showed me the trailer to “Lego Batman: The Video Game” which will be coming out next month.
I think I gotta have all of these …